Year in Review – 2014

I want to write more in 2015. I would also like to try a bit of that working out loud type stuff.  Inspired by the brilliant Alex Deschamps-Sonsino I have copied her end of year review questions (Which I believe were created by Molly Steenson) and written some answers.


1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Travel to Hong Kong. Travelled business class. Drank beer at a bar in a plane. I did some ‘teaching’ at work. Left a suitcase on the tube like a knob head.


2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Not really and yes. Better to have tried and failed than not tried at all or something grandiose sounding that absolves my laziness/weakness at habit forming/breaking


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?



4. Did anyone close to you die?



5. What countries did you visit?

Hong Kong, India, Dubai (airport), France, Wales.


6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A greater sense of focus, purpose and a promotion.


7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

December 12th


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

The teaching thing. I had to produce and deliver materials to teach very technically gifted employees about innovation and creativity. Properly dauntingly talented people PhD’s, scientists from CERN etc. and me with an HND in Business Information Technology from Sheffield Hallam. It went well though, the feedback was great and I got to visit Hong Kong, India and London to deliver my reckons.

I must also mention the War Cards. An idea of mine from last year that came to fruition thanks to the brilliant work of one of my colleagues. It gave me A real sense of pride.


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War Cards exhibit in the foyer of HSBC HQ #2

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9. What was your biggest failure?

Not making enough of the teaching opportunity (and others) that it would have been recognised as more of an achievement by others.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

After a painful 2013 thankfully not.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

Can’t remember anything of note I bought for myself. Best purchase for others was a £7 LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary book for my four year old son. He loves it.


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Malala Yousafzai. The Daily Show interview.



13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Some people that shall remain nameless.

The UKIP and all their supporters.

Ched Evans’ PR advisors (as well as Ched himself).

Idiotic American gun owners.

Power crazed men in Russia/Ukraine, Middle East, Africa etc.



14. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage payments.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Not enough. I did enjoy travelling a lot. I also really enjoyed my sons getting into LEGO and Star Wars. Having our first child free weekend at home in over four years another highlight.


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That's me

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16. What song/album will always remind you of 2014?

Todd Terje – Strandbar.


East India Youth – Hinterland.


One of the few gigs I went was to see Slow Club at The Leadmill as part of The Tramlines festival. They basically played there new album  which I had heard nothing of but thought it was brilliant on the night. Repeat listenings have proved I was right.



17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Wiser from my mistakes and determined to get better.


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing. It is like I have shut off part of my brain, and there is not much to shut off. A thing I must revive in 2015 starting with this.

Working on what others deemed the right things.

Saw more live music and comedians.

Playing with my children.


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19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating, sitting and misplacing loyalty.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?

For the first time it was spent at home and it was lovely.


21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

The lady of my life or Mercury Taxis or China House takeaway.


22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Only more deeply (brownie point answer in case a certain someone is reading)


23. What was your favourite TV programme?

Sons of Anarchy finished strongly i.e. as ludicrously as the previous six seasons. It is basically a show about leadership and terrible decisions.


24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is too strong a word but there are a few that my opinion of has decreased significantly this year.


25. There does not seem to be a 25th question in Alex’s version. Maybe I should make one up? What was your favourite photo that you took?

This one of my two boys at Burbage on top of a rock

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Brothers at Burbage

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26. What was the best book(s) you read?

The Circle & Ready Player One. Both a bit silly but fun.

Best business book by a mile was Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull about how Pixar became Pixar.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The previously mentioned East India Youth and Todd Terje. Also GoGo penguin.


28. What did you want and get?

I really can’t think of anything. I need to start being more selfish and wanting some stuff. Set more goals and shit. Although I did want some help this year and there were some really helpful people who gave me some. Those guys were brilliant.


29. What did you want and not get?

My children to sleep more.



30. What were your favourite films of this year?

Snowpiercer, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Edge of Tomorrow…


31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I am 38 and I had to ask my significant other to remind me what I had done and she could not remember either. Clearly it was not that memorable/my memory is fading in ‘old age’. Must have a better 39th birthday celebration.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Did I mention a promotion? Or being able to get my children to sleep? or eat?  Or do anything I ask them?


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

What ever was in my wardrobe and fitted. Probably a checked shirt and jeans.


34. What kept you sane?

My beautiful and patient significant other.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

No one springs to mind. I quite like comedienne Sara Pascoe, mainly because she is very funny and strikes me as being particularly
intelligent, which is clearly hot.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?

My continued despair at my own disinterest in UK politics. What a bunch of pricks we have as political party leaders. My local MP is Nick Clegg. I have nothing to vote for.


37. Who did you miss?

No one springs to mind.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

Same answer as the last question. Both answers are a real shame.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Misplaced loyalty makes you feel like a dog.


40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

‘Bass, how low can you go?’


That was really difficult but I found it useful. I did not have a great 2014.  I wonder how next years answers will differ knowing I will be asking myself the same questions again? Will I take more notes because I can’t remember enough? Will I try and do more exciting things?

Let’s see if I can kick start a more frequent writing habit. New Year’s resolution number one.

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